A Prehistoric Mystery

Here’s a bunch of hands stenciled onto a cave wall by prehistoric artists with a lot of time on their… er, hands. But the hands in the Sahara cave are too small to be human.

In many places throughout Europe and elsewhere, cave-dwellers used to blow a mist of paint through a tube to create stencils of their hands on the walls. It was a very common pastime. Well, it was still the Ice Age outside, they had to find something to do to stave off cabin fever (before cabins were invented).

Scientists exploring a cave in Egypt were puzzled by hand stencils made of very, very small hands, smaller than a baby’s ( http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-3469858/Tiny-handprints-Stone-Age-shelter-NOT-human-8-000-year-old-baby-stencils-Cave-Beasts-created-lizards.html ). Having ruled out human hands, the best theory they could come up with was that these are the outlines of lizard hands.

Put that in your pipe and smoke it for a while.

There was no Ice Age in the Sahara, and back when these paintings were made, it wasn’t a desert. There are lots and lots of paintings here of people and animals, lots and lots of stenciled hands–and these little bitty stenciled hands.

Why would anyone go to the trouble to stencil-paint a bunch of lizard hands? We take it for granted that the lizards didn’t do it themselves. I have a lot of experience with lizards, and I can tell you it’d be hard to get a lizard to hold still while you made a stencil of his paw. A dead lizard would suffice–but why would anybody do this?

We are not told whether the scientists have bothered to rule out space aliens, gnomes, or fairies.

My money’s on the gnomes.

5 comments on “A Prehistoric Mystery

Leave a Reply